Consulting

GMA consultants help you seize opportunities at all stages of your giving life cycle. We tune in to your priorities and deliver practical, insightful results.

What would you like to achieve?

When you need outside expertise, we are here, with a deep understanding of the field and a long-standing commitment to joyful giving. GMA consultants specialize in designing and conducting inclusive processes that free you to aim high, agree on shared priorities, and navigate change. We work with private foundations and philanthropic families, companies, and individuals to chart a clear path ahead.

Strategic Planning

GMA will lead a collaborative planning process, engage with you in creative thinking, and bring to bear best practices and expertise to help you:

  • launch a new foundation or giving program
  • develop a corporate social responsibility strategy
  • contemplate a change in focus
  • prepare for a capital event or change in leadership
  • assess current grant strategy and impact
  • research a field of interest
  • identify high impact funding opportunities
  • clearly articulate a path forward

Facilitation and Engagement

GMA consultants specialize in designing content for meetings and gatherings that jump starts participation, and in facilitating conversations that matter. We will manage the details, and work to strengthen relationships and build consensus among participants. We arrange for:

  • Family retreats that reflect deeply-held values and family dynamics
  • Board meetings that are lively, unearth trustees’ talents, and yield results
  • Company-wide grantmaking processes that connect employees to the community
  • Grantee convenings that result in deeper understanding of complex issues

Governance

GMA’s experienced consultants will help you put into place processes and structures that engage key stakeholders, and support your mission and goals. We will explore a range of suitable options, and guide you in creating and activating plans for:

  • Organizational structures
  • Involving younger generations in grantmaking
  • Board succession and preparing others for leadership
  • Trustee orientation
  • Employee engagement
  • Decision-making processes
  • Community advisory boards

How will you get started?

In GMA’s consulting framework, finding the right consultant fit and setting clear project goals both follow from a clear understanding of your needs in the context of your giving program’s life cycle. This initial phase of any project matters a lot.

In research for the Foundation Review article we co-authored with Brandeis University’s Sillerman Center, The Family Foundation Life Cycle and the Role of Consultants, we surveyed foundation leaders for insight on their experience with consultants. Not surprisingly, finding the right fit and setting clear goals were mentioned most often as contributing to an engagement’s success.

As you consider retaining outside expertise for your giving program, this framework may be helpful in guiding your thinking. Contact Mary Phillips to talk about life-cycle stages and your current need for outside expertise.

“GMA Foundations’ report was received well and highly praised.  The Trustees thought it presented a most useful and interesting overview, was readable and very digestible and an excellent piece of work.” – President, private foundation